Setup. Deal 10 cards to both players. The next card, faceup, starts the discard pile. The rest of the deck, facedown, is the stock pile.
Starting the first turn. The non-dealer can take the single discarded card or pass. If they pass, the dealer can take the discarded card. If they also pass, the non-dealer must draw from the stock pile. Play continues as normal.
The rest of the turns. (1) You must draw the top card of the stock pile or the discard pile. (2) You must discard a card. (3) If you have 10 or fewer deadwood points, you can knock (end the round).
Melds and deadwood. Cards in your hand that are not in melds are deadwood. Each card can be in only one meld. The possible melds are sets (3-4 cards of the same rank, e.g., three Jacks) and runs (3+ sequential cards of the same suit; e.g., 3◊ 4◊ 5◊). Ace is low (Ace-2-3 is a run but not Queen-King-Ace).
Counting deadwood. Ace = 1 point, 2 = 2 points, 3 = 3 points, &c. Face cards are each 10 points.
Ending the round. Both players lay out their hands. The defender can lay off deadwood by adding it to the knocker’s melds. The knocker’s score is defender’s deadwood points minus knocker’s deadwood points.
Going gin. If the knocker has no deadwood, the defender cannot lay off deadwood, and the knocker gets a 25 point bonus.
Undercutting. If the defender has fewer deadwood points than the knocker, the defender scores knocker’s deadwood minus defender’s deadwood plus bonus 25.
Scoring. In a single-match game, play until 100 points. For a multi-match game, keep a game score and a match score. At the end of a 100-point match, the match winner’s game score goes up by the match score, a 100 point “game bonus”, and 25 points per deal won (“box bonus”).
2-4 players; 4 is best.
The deal. In the 1st round, each player is dealt 1 card. In the 2nd, 2 cards, etc. until there are not enough cards in the deck to increase hand size. At that point, hand size decreases per round back down to 1. The next card from the deck is turned face up to determine trump.
Bidding. Starting with the player left of the dealer, each player makes a bid for the number of tricks they will take.
The play. The player who bid first leads the first trick. Any card can be lead. Each player must follow suit if able. The highest trump wins; if there are no trumps, then the highest card of the suit led wins. The winner of the trick leads the next trick.
Scoring. Each player wins 1 point for each trick and 10 bonus points if they exactly made their bid.
Variants. Screw the dealer: All player’s bids must sum to the number of tricks. Up and down: If you exactly make your bid, you win that number of points. If you go over, you lose one point per trick over the bid. If you go under, you lose 2 points per trick under the bid. Hoyle: Win the bid plus 10 if you exactly make the bid; zero otherwise. The last hand has no trump.
Durak / Дурак
For 2-8 players. 4 is best.
Setup. For 2-4 players, remove cards 5 and below to make a pack of 36. For 5-8 players, use the whole deck. Deal 6 cards to each player. The next card, turned face-up, indicated the trump suit. Put the draw pile on top of that card. On the first hand, the player with the lowest trump leads.
Starting the attack. The active player is the attacker. The player to their left is the defender. The attacker leads the attack by playing one card from their hand, face-up, to the defender. The defender can cover an attacking card with a card of the same suit and higher rank. Trumps of any rank beat trumps of any other suit, but a trump can only be covered by a higher trump.
Continuing the attack. The attacker and all other players who are not the defender can attack the defender with cards whose rank is equal to a card already played in attack or defense. Only 6 cards (or the number of cards in the defender’s hand, whichever is lower) can be played in attack.
Ending the attack. If the defending player can cover all attacking cards, all attacking and covering cards are placed into a discard pile and the defender becomes the next attacker. If the defender cannot or chooses not to cover all attacking cards, they must pick up all attacking and covering cards into their hand. Their attack is skipped, and the player to their left is the next attacker.
Drawing new cards. After the attack is complete, starting with the original attacking player and going clockwise, each player draws cards from the stock to replenish their hand to 6 cards. Players with 6 or more cards do not draw new cards.
Ending the game. The face-up trump at the bottom of the draw pile is drawn last. After that, play continues, but no new cards are drawn. The last player with cards in their head is called the fool (дурак) and loses. In the next game, the player to the left of the loser attacks first.
Passing (переводной). If a defender has not covered any attacking cards, they may play one or more cards of the same rank as the attacking card(s) and pass those cards to the player to their left, who is now the defender.